Author Salman Rushdie has written a memoir titled Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder. The controversial Indian-born British-American author of The Satanic Verses was stabbed multiple times last year while he gave a lecture onstage in New York. The despicable attack left Rushdie blind in his right eye and injured his left hand.
The Associated Press reports, “Last August, Rushdie was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and abdomen by a man who rushed the stage as the author was about to give a lecture in western New York. The attacker, Hadi Matar, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and attempted murder.”
“This was a necessary book for me to write: a way to take charge of what happened, and to answer violence with art,” Rushdie said in a statement released by Penguin Random House.
“Knife is a searing book, and a reminder of the power of words to make sense of the unthinkable,” said Penguin Random House CEO Nihar Malaviya in a statement. “We are honored to publish it, and amazed at Salman’s determination to tell his story, and to return to the work he loves.”
Salman Rushdie Says That “Everybody Loves Me” Now That He Almost Died
Since the release of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses in 1988, Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the author's death, which prompted Rushdie to live in hiding for years. In a February 2023 interview with The New Yorker — Rushdie's first since the attack — the author discussed the incident and his recovery. “Well, you know, I’ve been better,” said Rushdie. “But, considering what happened, I’m not so bad. The big injuries are healed, essentially. I have feeling in my thumb and index finger and in the bottom half of the palm. I’m doing a lot of hand therapy, and I’m told that I’m doing very well.”
In The New Yorker interview, Rushdie commented that his book sales soared after his attack. “Now that I’ve almost died, everybody loves me,” he said. “That was my mistake, back then. Not only did I live but I tried to live well. Bad mistake. Get 15 stab wounds, much better.”
Rushdie went on to say that, after the attack, he found it difficult to write fiction in the third person and decided to focus on a memoir. “This doesn’t feel third-person-ish to me,” said Rushdie. “I think when somebody sticks a knife into you, that’s a first-person story. That’s an ‘I’ story.”
Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder drops on April 16, 2024.